IF you’ve ever noticed little white spots on your penis – then you’re not alone.
Some men might feel embarrassed when it comes to the prospect of going to the doctor to talk about what’s going on down there.
It’s an embarrassing issue that you might not want to get help for, but there are times you definitely should.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, doctors have urged people to still come to the surgery if they are suffering from various health issues – and that could include white spots on your penis.
Data from Google Trends shows that in the last seven days, searches for “genital warts” have increased by 50 per cent, with searches for herpes having increased by 60 per cent.
White spots can appear for any number of reasons, some more serious than others.
They may appear on their own, in clumps and their size may vary too.
If they cause pain, appear alongside discharge or have any other unusual symptoms, you should speak to a doctor as soon as you can.
What causes white spots on your penis?
Whether it’s herpes or an ingrown hair, the are a number of reasons as to why you could have spots on your penis.
It’s important that you have open conversations with your sexual partners about any issues you are facing down there, especially if you think your discomfort could be down to an STI.
Here’s what could cause white spots down there.
1. Genital warts
Genital warts are small, fleshy growths that appear on or around the genital area or around your bum.
They are a viral skin infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).
The warts are usually painless and do not pose a threat to your health, but they can cause some itching.
And they can be ugly to look at which can be upsetting for some people.
It can take months, or even years, for warts to develop after infection with HPV.
So if you’re in a relationship and you get genital warts, it does not necessarily mean your partner has been having sex with other people.
Another STI that can cause spots on your manhood is herpes.
Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes painful, itchy blisters on the genitals and areas that surround them.
It is a chronic, long-term condition and the virus remains in your body for the rest of your life.
That means it can become active again.
The HSV is contagious and can be passed on through unprotected sex.
Even if someone with genital herpes doesn’t have any symptoms, it’s possible for them to pass the condition on to a sexual partner.
Around eight in 10 people who carry the virus are unaware they are, according to the NHS.
3. Yeast infections
You’re probably thinking thrush is something only women get, but you’d be wrong.
Thrush is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida.
It develops when there is an imbalance of micro-organisms, causing the Candida to multiply.
On blokes it can cause redness around the head of the penis as well as spots, irritation and white/yellow discharge.
It is possible for thrush to spread through sex – although it is not an STI.
It is advisable that both sexual partners seek treatment at the same time to prevent re-infection.
Just like anywhere else on your body, you can get pimples down there.
Acne doesn’t just occur on the face, it can also occur on the back, chest and other parts of the body.
A pimple forms when your pores become infected by bacteria.
Most pimples will only cause minor discomfort and disappear on their own.
You should never pop a pimple – especially down there – as it can lead to further infection and inflammation, something you definitely don’t want on your manhood.
5. Ingrown hair
When you have an ingrown hair, you’ll notice a small bump on the skin that can sometimes be painful to touch.
If you wax or shave down there you are more likely to get an ingrown hair.
Most ingrown hairs grow out on their own but if you start to notice signs of infection – think pus – then you need to treat it.
You can try things like exfoliation or a warm compress to help clear it up.
In severe cases, such as when it becomes infected, it may need to be treated with antibiotics.
This is one that’ll have men everywhere crossing their legs.
Balanitis is pain, redness and swelling of the tip of the penis and foreskin.
It can also cause whitish, lumpy discharge and spots.
It is often caused by an allergic reaction or irritation.
Your doctor can prescribe antibacterial or antifungal creams to clear up the condition.
Stretching exercises to loosen the foreskin may also be needed to reduce inflammation.
7. Penile papules
You’ve probably never heard of this one.
Penile papules are small, non-cancerous bumps that appear on the head of the penis.
The often occur in rows that circle the head and can be pink, yellow, white or clear.
It is not known what causes the papules but they are harmless and do not require treatment unless they become painful.
If they do bother you though you can have them frozen off using cryosurgery or lasered off.
8. Fordyce spots
Another one you’ve probably never heard of.
Fordyce spots are small white bumps on your manhood cause by abnormal sebaceous glands.
You might only notice one or you might notice 50 or more.
They are harmless and not caught through unprotected sex,
But if they cause discomfort or you just want them removed there are plenty of surgical options, including laser and electrosurgery, to have them removed.
When should I see a doctor?
The NHS says that you should see a doctor or visit a sexual health clinic if you are worried about a spot, lump or growth on your penis.
Sexual health clinics are able to offer a range of services that might be better suited to your needs if you think you issue is related to an infection.
They can help with both testing and treatment and can also refer you to a specialist if they think the issue is more serious.
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